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We need to get to the bottom of it

Posted February. 01, 2021 07:38,   

Updated February. 01, 2021 07:38


The riot in the U.S. Congress has left many U.S. citizens with traumatic scars. Who would ever have imagined the symbol of U.S. democracy being intruded by violent mobs so easily? The U.S. Congress held a closed hearing to identify the police's poor handling and find solutions.

△“We need additional boots on the ground”

Yogananda D. Pittman, the acting police chief, apologized for their mishandling of the storm of rebels in the hearing on Capitol Hill. However, he made it clear that former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who stepped down due to the incident, made an urgent and immediate request for Federal Police and National Guard assistance. As the former police chief put it, “I have got to get boots on the ground.” This expression‎ literally means ground troops; or in a broader sense signifies soldiers, police, etc. who are physically present somewhere in a military or police operation. In political and business terms, the expression‎ is used to refer to workforces who voluntarily knock on door to door people’s residence or businesses.

△“It was only by pure dumb luck more weren’t killed”

The attack on the U.S. Congress claimed four deaths among rioters and two police officers’ deaths, which must never have been taken lightly by legislators who were briefed on the casualties. A Congress member described that seeing only that number of losses was thanks to sheer “dumb luck,” which means something that happens unintentionally enough that you find it more perplexing than a mere luck. You can also say that it is a "blind luck,” which is similar as "serendipity” – the title of an U.S. film.  

△“We need to get to the bottom of this”

The hearing discovered that Democrats and Republicans showed different responses. Although both of them criticized the police for their failed response, Republicans must have found it awkward to blame pro-Trump protesters for providing fundamental conditions for such a violent tragedy. By contrast, Democrats said in a voice that the U.S. Congress should "get to the bottom of” the violence and track down the rioters. You may often have heard of this expression‎ from the South Korean political arena as well. The expression‎ "get to the bottom of” means that you work to discover the real but sometimes hidden reason that something exists or happens.

Mi-Kyung Jung mickey@donga.com